This debate has been ongoing for many years. Why? Because women have always desired to rule over men. However, as Christians, we should make sure that our core values, beliefs and doctrines are solely biblical. This topic is not exempted. This is not a culturally biased or old-fashioned view, in fact, the bible is not voiceless on this subject.
1 Timothy 2:11-15
Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness. For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression:but she shall be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law. And if they would learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home: for it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church.
From these scriptures, we can deduce that women are not to become leaders in the church in any way that places them in authority over a man. This includes being pastors and teachers. Women are to be learners and not leaders within the Church. This principle was not based on education status. Having a degree in theology or anything else of that sort does not override this decree. It wasn’t because women were seen as less intelligent or uneducated. This is simply the way God wants it.
Jesus Christ had many disciples but His chosen 12 were all men. The ones he sent out were the men. Nowhere in the scriptures has a woman ever been placed in the place of authority over a church.
The role of a woman as a support rather than a leader was established prior to the fall. God’s original intent to create a woman was for her to be a “help meet” (Genesis 2:18) The fall confirms this further. When Eve in the garden of Eden tried to operate independently without the covering of her husband, who is the head, she was deceived, she sinned and caused her husband to do the same. Men and women are designed for different roles. Just like men are not designed to have babies, women were designed to be under the authority of a man.
Does this mean that women do not have any role within the church? Does this mean that women are never to instruct, teach or pray? Of course not! There are various examples of this within the bible. Teaching and leadership does not have to be in the public setting of a church. There are other places and settings where women are to make use of their gifts biblically. In fact, women are encouraged to be teachers unto other women (Titus 2:3–5). Women are to be hospitable – 1 Timothy 5:9-10. These supportive roles are very important in the body of Christ. Every part of the body is very important to its wellbeing. Women are not less important than men. They simply have a different role to play.
Many have used this scripture in Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” to justify the fact that men and women are all the same before God and can both do what the other can do. Is this true?
It is important to point out that this verse is referring to our spiritual standing before God as being regardless of nationality, gender or social class.
When a people turn against God and do not give ears to His counsel, one of the things that happens as a result of apostasy is some sort of role reversal. An example of this is in Romans 1:26-27: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”
When men fail to provide adequate leadership, women automatically step in. Read Isaiah 3:1-12, the bible speaks of women and children becoming leaders but not in a positive way: Isaiah 3:12“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”
It is safe to assume that spiritual apostasy was ongoing during the days of Deborah: Judges 4. Deborah was the ONLY female judge in Israel. The men in Deborah’s time were weak and were not acting in their role. “The rulers ceased in Israel, they ceased, Until that I Deborah arose, That I arose a mother in Israel.” Judges 5:7
Barak, the captain of the armies of Israel was a great example. He refused to go into battle unless Deborah went with him. Judges 5:7: “And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go; but if thou wilt not go with me, I will not go.”
This goes to show that when God cannot find the man he wants to use, he can raise up ANYONE and use them. Luke 19:40. His preferred method would have no doubt been to use a man.
Once the bible is the standard by which we live our lives, some things are not debatable. The standard as been set. Both women and men are to preach the gospel in and out of season. God used and is using many women for His glory. As a woman, you do NOT have to be a church leader before God can wrought awesome works through you.
Is it then safe to assume that we are once again in the era of apostasy?